We've put together these Tokyo packing tips to help you decide what to pack in your bags before you leave home. Make sure you've got all the essential items you're going to need once you arrive in Tokyo!
Tokyo may be one of the biggest cities in the world, but sometimes it's amazing what you can't buy here. Our Tokyo packing tips start with some items you might be surprised to see classed as essentials. For Japan though, you need to pack these to avoid potential worry and frustration during your vacation.
Japan has very strict laws on what medicines and drugs are allowed to be imported into Japan. Bring in something that's not on the ok list and you could end up being detained for several weeks. Not exactly the Tokyo vacation you planned. It may sound like a slightly negative item on our Tokyo packing tips list, but you won't be able to get away with the "But I didn't know" plea. As far as customs are concerned, if you didn't check then it's your responsibility. Cross it off your list and then you know you're covered just in case.
To find out more about what's legal and what's not, check this page on the US Embassy website.
We've talked elsewhere in the site about needing to check if your phone will work in Japan or if you'll need to rent a phone for the duration of your stay. It's one of our top Tokyo packing tips so it needs to be included here too. If you're looking to reduce the cost of your phone calls to the US while you're in Japan, we know a great online phone card product that'll save you a chunk of change. It's also a great way to avoid roaming charges (these can seriously add up if you're not careful).
How do they work? Ordering the cards is easy and can all be done online. Once you've made the purchase there's no waiting around as you can use the card straight away.
And who can use them? Just about anybody (as long as you've got a phone). They come with a smart phone application so they work with iPhone, Android and Blackberry as well as regular cell phones. Click the link if you'd like to know more about these easy to use calling cards.
We promised you the Tokyo packing tips you'll need for a pleasurable trip so there's no way round this one. If you are a condom user, consider packing a few in your bag. We've heard that size is an issue when it comes to your rubbery friend. Apparently the durex here can be a little tight at times... not that we'd know : )
Ladies, the contraceptive pill is also a rare item. When you can get your hands on it, there are only a few types to choose from. You are definitely better off making sure you have enough with you. If, however, you do need to get your hands on these tiny pills during your stay, try the Tokyo Medical Clinic. See the listing on our Tokyo emergency page.
Lastly. If you have a tendency to suffer from thrush and use canesten cream or an alternative, make sure it's in your bags. If you have no idea how to ask in Japanese, imagine gesturing to try and get someone to understand you!
On that note, a small phrase book should be tucked away in your pocket.
For part 2 of our Tokyo packing tips visit our vacation packing tips page. Pack the right things for the season you're going to be here...
Wouldn't you love to find a guidebook that is just for first-time visitors to Tokyo. Find those all important things that only a local would know like: what to expect at the airport, what Japanese is most useful for a traveler to know, what packing tips are specific for Tokyo, what should you do in an emergency, the basics of using the trains, and much more. Head over to Taming Tokyo today and judge for yourself.
Interested? Sign-up for our regular Tokyo News updates and get access to your free Travel Essentials planner.